Spanish Grand Prix of Jerez # 1 Quote Machine Final


Gran Premio Red Bull De España – Race Classification:

1. Fabio QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 41’23.796
2. Maverick VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 41’28.399 – +4.603
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 41’29.742 – +5.946
4. Jack MILLER – Pramac Racing – 41’30.464 – +6.668
5. Franco MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 41’30.640 – +6.844
6. Pol ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 41’30.734 – +6.938
7. Francesco BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 41’36.823 – +13.027
8. Miguel OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 41’37.237 – +13.441
9. Danilo PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – 41’43.447 – +19.651
10. Takaaki NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 41’45.349 – +21.553
11. Johann ZARCO – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 41’48.896 – +25.100
12. Alex MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 41’51.146 – +27.350
13. Brad BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 41’53.436 – +29.640
14. Tito RABAT – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 41’56.694 – +32.898
15. Bradley SMITH – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 42’03.478 – +39.682

Not Classified:

Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 34’49.784 – 4 laps
Iker LECUONA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 31’42.493 – 6 laps
Valentino ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 30’00.801 – 7 laps
Aleix ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 3’28.040 – 23 laps
Joan MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’47.771 – 24 laps

 

MotoGP Press

Quartararo scorches to first MotoGP™ win amid drama for Marquez
The Frenchman takes a sublime victory ahead of Viñales and Dovizioso, with the reigning Champion crashing out and breaking his humerus

Sunday, 19 July 2020
MotoGP™ is back. In a day of drama, thrills and spills, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) claimed his first MotoGP™ victory – and France’s first since 1999 – in a truly stunning and dramatic Gran Premio Red Bull de España, putting an Independent Team Yamaha on the top step for the first time in MotoGP™ and taking the Petronas Yamaha SRT team’s first win. The Frenchman capitalised on a Lap 5 mistake from race leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) as he suffered a run off, and Quartararo didn’t look back – pulling the pin to stamp some authority on Round 1 for the premier class.

We witnessed a stunning comeback from the number 93 after his mistake, with the reigning World Champion unleashing unbelievable pace mid-race – but he then suffered a huge crash at Turn 4 with four laps remaining, breaking his right humerus and soon heading for surgery. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) put in an impressive performance to bank 20 points and take second in the wake of the drama, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completing the podium after a late lunge on Jack Miller (Pramac Racing).

Viñales got a storming launch from the middle of the front row and grabbed the holeshot into Turn 1, with Miller getting his Ducati off the line like a rocket to initially go P2. The Australian was wide though which let Marquez come through into second after a fairly average getaway, with polesitter Quartararo slotting into P3 at Turn 2 as he then got the better of Miller.

However, the Desmosedici grunt saw Miller get up the inside of Quartararo down into the Dani Pedrosa corner, as Viñales got out the seat around Turn 8 in an early scare for the number 12. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) was then past Quartararo on Lap 2 as the Frenchman initially fell back, but he was back through at the final corner on that lap as Marquez and Viñales went toe-to-toe at Turn 4, before Marquez managed to make the move stick at Dani Pedrosa corner. Was this the break?

Lap 5 would prove a game-changer and say no. Going through Turn 4, we witnessed something we’ve seen so many times before – a miraculous save from the reigning Champion. Somehow, the number 93 picked his HRC machine up from an almost certain crash and managed to keep it upright through the gravel, coming back on the track in 16th. A huge moment, but it was far from race over for Marc Marquez. Far, far from it…

At the front, Viñales was leading for a couple of laps, but Quartararo had got the better of Miller and was soon right on the tailpipes of the number 12 Yamaha. A mistake at Pedrosa corner was then followed by another one heading intoLorenzo corner on Lap 9 after the pace had slowed into the 1:39s, and as Viñales went wide, Quartararo and Miller were through. Slightly further back, however, attentions we starting to turn to Marc Marquez.

In just five laps, Marquez had managed to get himself from P16 to P10 and was lapping around a second quicker than most of the leading group. Lap 12 saw Marquez set a 1:38.3 – the fastest lap of the race – that was a good 0.4 faster than Quartararo, and even more than the riders in the podium hunt. Lap 13 soon passed and doing the passing was Marquez. He’d got the better of Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and a struggling Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to move up into P8, and a podium finish seemed well within his grasp. At the Lap 15 stage, Quartararo’s lead snuck past the two-second mark for the first time, but the shark music was playing as the cameras started to show an orange missile quickly making its way towards the back of the fight for the podium places.

With 10 to go, Marquez was a second quicker than third place Viñales, and the reigning Champion getting back into a podium position now seemed a formality rather than a possibility. With eight laps to go, Marquez was just two seconds away from the podium as he hunted and passed Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Bagnaia, Dovizioso… suddenly, Marquez had Miller and Viñales right in front of him.

Quartararo was over five seconds clear, but all eyes were on Marquez vs Miller. Six laps to go, Turn 13 was Marquez’ chosen passing place on Miller but the Australian bit straight back at Turn 1. A man on a mission, Marquez was straight back up the inside at Turn 2 and made the move stick. Now, Viñales was next on the list – and he would prove the rider right behind Marquez when the eight-time Champion ran off track at Turn 4.

Coming across the line with four laps remaining, Marquez was plotting his move into P2. However, there was about to be another twist – and a vast one at that. Coming out of Turn 3, Marquez was launched off his RC213V in a vicious way. Tumbling heavily through the gravel, the reigning Champion was taken to the medical centre – and has a broken right humerus.

Back at the front, Quartararo crossed the line to take an incredible maiden MotoGP™ victory, making some history and converting some searing premier class pace into a winner’s trophy. Viñales was able to grind out a P2 despite struggling with his front tyre from “lap seven or eight”, and the battle for the final podium spot went down to the final lap. With two to go, Dovizioso made his move on Miller at Turn 6 to hold P3, with Morbidelli then almost crashing after colliding with Miller on the inside of the corner. This allowed Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) through in P5 – the Spaniard in the fight all race – but Morbidelli would eventually get the better of Espargaro at the last corner, on the last lap. Viñales took P2 from Dovizioso, with Miller leading Morbidelli and Espargaro over the line. P2-P6 were covered by just 2.3 seconds.

Bagnaia couldn’t keep up the pace in the latter stages as the Italian slipped out of contention and finished P7, with Oliveira placing P8 – his equal best result in the premier class. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) crossed the line ninth, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) closing out the top 10.

There were only 15 finishers in a brutal MotoGP™ race in Jerez. Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing), Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – who recovered from an incident in the opening stages to sometimes sit as the fastest man on track – Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Bradley Smith completing the points. Rossi suffered an issue and was out of the race with seven to go, with Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also not finishing.

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe what we just witnessed in the MotoGP™ class as 2020 kicks off in style, but with some serious drama on the side. Tune in again next weekend for the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia!

MotoGP™ podium
1 Fabio Quartararo – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – 41:23.796
2 Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – +4.603
3 Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – Ducati – +5.946
Fabio Quartararo: “The best moment of my life for sure. I haven’t realised it yet. It feels so strange without the fans, I would love them to be here to cheer with them. But honestly, this race was for them, for all the people affected by coronavirus and for my family, my brother always supporting me, my parents…

“It was a really tough race because first of all, I didn’t do a very good start. I was fifth behind Pecco and Jack and I knew that behind the Ducatis, it’s so difficult to do our corner speed, especially on the last sector. I overtook Pecco in the last corner, also Jack. Then I saw Marc’s mistakes and then it was difficult to catch Maverick. He did a small mistake in Turn 6 and then I did my own mistake but honestly it felt so strange because yesterday in FP4, the grip was really good.

“After the Moto2 race we know the grip is normally low, but I didn’t expect that much. If you check the pace from yesterday and today, it was almost one second slower. So it was difficult to understand the track, but the most important thing is that we had our first victory today.”

 

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KTM

Espargaro races to eye-catching 6th place at Jerez MotoGP™ opener
MotoGP 2020 – Round 01, Circuito de Jerez–Angel Nieto (ESP)

The Gran Premio Red Bull de España produced some strong performances by the Red Bull KTM collective as Pol Espargaro vied for a podium finish, Brad Binder impressed with his speed in his debut outing in the premier class and Miguel Oliveira equaled his best MotoGP classification.

Temperatures hovered at 55 degrees across the asphalt of the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto for the first of thirteen rounds in 2020 MotoGP and the opening episode of two ‘closed-door’ events at the compact Spanish circuit. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Red Bull KTM Tech3 showed increased competitiveness and excellent speed with the KTM RC16 after 25 intense laps of MotoGP’s return to action.

Pol Espargaro finished 6th and was less than a second from 3rd position. The Spaniard fought inside the leading group from the first moments of the race and strived to overtake Jack Miller and Andrea Dovizioso. A final corner attempt to snatch 4th position meant he allowed Franco Morbidelli just enough space to sneak through. Esparagaro was 6th at the finish line. The difference was just three tenths of a second from 4th.

Espargaro was joined in the opening laps by excellent rookie Brad Binder. The South African ensured that the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes formation-flew in the midst of the top ten. A mistake under braking on lap seven saw the Moto3 and Moto2 race winner run off track and lose time down to last place but he then set a fiery pace to work his way back to 13th.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira banished some tricky moments in practice and qualification to ride steadily and effectively to 8th spot: equaling his highest MotoGP ranking yet, set at the 2019 Grand Prix of Austria. Teammate Iker Lecuona was also on the fringes of the top ten but suffered with heat exhaustion and had to withdraw from the last quarter of the race distance.

Pol Espargaro: “It’s been a very good day and I’m happy with the result but you always want more! We were just one second from the podium: very close. I needed to be closer to the guys in front to pass but the front tire temperature was growing like crazy-fast in a few corners. We normal struggle at Jerez so to take this result and in these temperatures is very good. We are happy and now we are convinced we can get push for better in the short-term. All four KTMs on the grid are powerful and strong, especially on the race pace. We are in the game now.”

Brad Binder: “In general, it is not too bad. I’m super-happy with the way the bike is. I need to say sorry to my team because today we could have done a good job and taken a good result but at the end of the day we live and we learn. I made a mistake and I won’t do it again. I knew I could be there in that group with the guys, I didn’t know I would be able to sit there quite comfortably. That was a bit of a shock for sure. I’m really happy that my training in the off-season worked because this is a whole new ball game. I must be happy. The whole package is working so well so I must say thanks to KTM for all their work and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in the next races. Let’s keep our heads up and keep this work ethic going.”

Miguel Oliveira: “It was a very, very happy ending to the weekend. After struggling a little bit in the practices, I think we deserved this good result. To start the season with a top ten is better than we expected. For sure, we still have a lot of work to do for the next race but I’m glad for my performance and I am really, really happy to give this result to the team. It’s also my first race after Motegi in October last year. I’m just happy and hope we can improve next weekend.”

Iker Lecuona: “To be honest, I already regret my decision to return to the garage. It was only five laps to go, I should have just taken a bit of speed out and try to finish the race as the points would have been in reach anyway. I missed out on what could have been a possible top 10 result but I felt really dizzy and didn’t want to risk a crash or put someone else in danger, so I stopped. Before that, I was quite strong, managed to be close to Miguel all the time.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “We’ve started an unusual season with such a long time between the races and a lot of things have happened since last November. We knew our bike from the winter tests would perform better than last year, but we haven’t been able to show it until this weekend. This is a result of all the excellent effort from everybody at the factory and all those connected to the project. When it comes to the riders then Pol made a very clever race. This short season means that a mistake in the first GP would have been costly but he still gave the maximum. Brad was outstanding to be in the leading group and until he saved his crash. His comeback and lap-times were amazing. It was a big lesson for him. Miguel struggled in the sessions but was already better from warm-up and managed a super 8th position. We could have had three bikes in the top ten. Iker learned how tough this category can be and how the bikes and the riders push to the limit. He showed us that he’s fast but still needs to get prepared for MotoGP. We are not worried though; he is the youngest in our group and he will pick it up.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo celebrated a double podium result in Moto2 with Tetsuta Nagashima finishing 2nd and grabbing a second trophy after his win in Qatar while Jorge Martin followed up his Pole Position on Saturday with his third top three classification in just his second Moto2 term.

In Moto3 Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3’s Albert Arenas blasted to his second Grand Prix victory in a row after emerging from a chaotic race with many riders vying for podium positions. The Spaniard – who conquered the opening event in Qatar in March – headed three other KTM RC4s in the top six with SKY Racing Team VR46’s Andrea Migno in 4th and the Italian was followed by teammate Celestino Vietti and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez.

Albert Arenas: “Incredible! This race was amazing and really hard in the heat and with the tire, but I knew I had a good feeling when the tire dropped. I could keep the corner speed, even with the wheel spin. I’m really happy for the team; we made a late change to the set-up before the race and it worked. On the last lap I knew a podium finish would be a good result but also I knew if I did right things at the right moment then victory would be possible.”

MotoGP remains in Spain and will tackle Jerez again but this time for the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucía on July 26th.

Gran Premio Red Bull de España MotoGP photos can be downloaded HERE.

Results MotoGP Gran Premio Red Bull de España 2020
1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha 41:23.796
2. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha +4.603
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati +5.946
4. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +6.668
5. Franco Morbidelli (ITA), Yamaha +6.844
6. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +6.938
8. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM +13.441
13. Brad Binder (RSA), Red Bull KTM +29.640
DNF. Iker Lecuona (ESP), Red Bull KTM Tech3

 

Repsol Honda

Marc’s astonishing comeback without reward as Alex makes MotoGP debut in Jerez

Points and top rookie honours for Alex Marquez as Marc Marquez’s miraculous comeback is cut short.

245 days since the 2019 Valencia GP, the MotoGP World Championship roared back to life at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España as the premier class made a welcome return to racing. Temperatures were once again the main talk of the grid, the track at 53°C as ambient temperatures pushed above 30°C.

Tension was palpable on the grid as the reduced 20-rider field waited for the lights to go out. Marc Marquez’s race got off to a lightning start and he quickly moved into the lead, until a moment on Lap 5 almost ended his race but for another Marquez miracle save. Dropping down the order, Marc lapped at an incredible pace once back on track and produced one of the most impressive rides of his career as he charged back from 19th and a 9.3 second deficit. Consistently lapping in the mid to low 1’38s while those at the front were in the high 1’38s, the Honda RC213V rider quickly closed the gap to the podium battle with his superior pace. Charging through the field, Marc joined the battle for second place with five laps to go with Viñales just a few metres ahead. Unfortunately, a vicious high side at Turn 3 would end the dream comeback and result in a broken right humerus.

Alex Marquez did well on his MotoGP debut, the rookie keeping his cool during the frantic start to the race and steadily working his way forward. A calm head allowed him to avoid any major mistakes and learn from the experienced riders around him. His patience was rewarded with a 12th place finish and top rookie honours on his MotoGP debut, a satisfying result for the Moto2 and former Moto3 World Champion.

The Repsol Honda Team would like to wish Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Alex Rins speedy recoveries. Marquez and Crutchlow will travel to the Hospital Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona, where they are aiming to be operated on by Dr Xavier Mir and his team on Tuesday, July 21st. Marc has suffered a transverse diaphyseal fracture to his right humerus while the Britain from the LCR Honda Team, who crashed in Warm Up, has suffered a small fracture on his left scaphoid. He will undergo arthroscopy surgery to insert a small fixing pin.

Round Three of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, the Andalucía GP, takes place next week from July 24 to July 26.

Alex Marquez
12th

“First of all I’d like to wish Marc, Cal and Rins a speedy recovery. It is never good to see other riders get injured. Otherwise, it was a pretty good first race, I think we have a good base to now work from. Today was also a really good test physically because in this heat it was quite tough. It was a tricky race for everyone in the heat. I was fast during the middle of the race but I need to focus on the first five laps and the last four laps. But this is part of being a rookie, learning these sorts of things. Fortunately, we have next week to try it again.”

 

Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso steps on the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix, third in the race at Jerez. Top Ten for Danilo Petrucci who finishes in ninth position

Andrea Dovizioso climbed on the third step of the rostrum at Jerez de la Frontera, where the Spanish Grand Prix took place this weekend. In what was a very challenging GP, which put bikes and riders to the test due to the high temperatures, the Ducati Team rider was able to manage well his race strategy.

As he got off the line from the third row of the grid, Andrea put himself in the fifth position already after a few laps, finding a steady pace immediately. Fourth towards the end of the race, the rider from Forlì was able to defend himself from Morbidelli’s and Pol Espargaro’s attacks. Dovizioso managed then to fill in the gap on Jack Miller and, with two laps to go, he went past the Australian rider of the Pramac Racing Team claiming the third spot on the podium.

Dovizioso’s third place today represents his best result in the premier class at the Jerez Circuit, while for Ducati it is the fifth third place conquered at the Spanish race venue.

Despite still not being 100% fit and suffering some neck and back pain after Wednesday’s crash, his teammate Danilo Petrucci was able to end a tough weekend with a top-ten result by finishing ninth in today’s race.

At the end of the first Grand Prix of the 2020 MotoGP season, Ducati occupies the second position in the Manufacturers’ Standings, while the Ducati Team is second in the Team Standings.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 3rd
“This podium is like a victory for me. It was a challenging race, and I didn’t think I could get this result, but luckily I didn’t give up until the end and managed not to make any mistakes. In this morning’s Warm-Up, the team did a great job, as they improved my feeling with the Desmosedici GP, giving me the chance to be constant today in the race. Unfortunately, I still didn’t feel completely comfortable on the bike and, above all, I lacked speed. Surely, thanks to the feedback of this race, we will be able to be more competitive in the next GP, which will be held again here in Jerez”.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 9th
“It was a tough race for me. In addition to the neck pain, I am suffering some stomach issues probably due to the painkillers I’ve been taking these days, and today I wasn’t in the condition to do more. In the race, I tried to hold on and managed to finish into the top ten. Hopefully, I can recover and be 100% fit for next week. I am confident to have the potential to stay with the other Ducati bikes and fight for the top five positions”.

The Ducati Team will be back again at Circuito de Jerez – Àngel Nieto for the Andalusian Grand Prix, from 24th- 26th July 2020.

 

Tech 3

Oliveira equals best ever MotoGP result – Lecuona beaten by the Jerez heat

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira delivered a fantastic opening to the season today with equaling his best ever MotoGP result from Austria 2019, finishing well inside the top 8 of the premier class. Yet, Iker Lecuona likewise showed an amazing performance at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, until he had to give up due to physical conditions.

With a long wait, the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season finally got underway today in scorching hot weather conditions at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. Starting from P15 on the grid, Oliveira did a great job to improve on his position in the course of the race, being 13th after lap one and getting closer to the top 10 before half time of the 25 laps heat battle. The Portuguese star eventually emerged in eight position on the line to reach his best ever result aboard the KTM RC16 again. At the same time, Lecuona, launching off from the final position, made great progress in the first half of the race, following his teammate and being well placed in P12. Unfortunately, due to the incredible temperatures, he decided to enter the pit with five laps to go.

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 8th

Championship: 8th

Points: 8

“It was a very, very happy ending of this weekend. After struggling a little bit in the practices, I think we deserved this good result. To start the season with a top 10 is better than we expected. For sure, we still have a lot of work to do for the next race, but I’m glad for my performance, the way the team came back after a difficult Qualifying, so I am really, really happy to give this result to the team. They deserve it. It’s also my first race after Motegi in October last year. I’m just happy and hope we can improve next weekend.”

Iker Lecuona

Position: DNF

Championship: –

Points: –

“To be honest, I already regret my decision to return to the garage. It was only five laps to go, I should have just taken a bit of speed out and try to finish the race, as the points would have been in reach anyway. I missed out on what could have been a possible top 10 result, but I felt really dizzy and didn’t want to risk to crash or put someone else in danger, so I stopped. Before that, I was quite strong, managed to be close to Miguel all the time and fought all the race with Petrucci. So, I’m even more disappointed now.”

 

Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

“What an unbelievable first MotoGP race of the 2020 season here in Jerez! We knew the race was going to be incredibly tough for the riders, for the tyres, and we knew that the hot conditions will bring the riders and the bikes on their limits. We saw a lot of things happening. Our two guys got a good start. Miguel put his head down and kept a strong pace, that we knew from the weekend, because even though the Qualifying was a bit disappointing, we were sure that his pace was strong and this is what he showed. To end up the race in eighth position, which is equaling his best ever finish in MotoGP class, is a great start to the championship. We saw also the other three KTM’s very steady and fast on that circuit. Big congratulations to Miguel, he deserves a huge applause. He and the team worked hard and this is how you start a season on a strong foot. We were really, really happy until five laps to go with Iker as well, because he did also a great start, he was pushing, doing very close lap times to Miguel, but then what we were fearing happened. You have to be really on top physical form and we could see during the weekend that he was struggling to do these 25 laps in a row in these conditions, so it was a huge pity. I think he did a great weekend, he worked hard, he pushed hard and he deserved to see the flag, but anyway, at the end of the day, it’s easier to work on your physical condition than to make a slow rider a fast rider. Iker is a fast rider, he surprised everyone here, but he has got to work on his physical condition and I think he understood today that this is a crucial and very important point. Let’s hope we can have another strong weekend next week and meanwhile, let’s have a good rest for the next two days, as all of us have been suffering a lot.”

Aprilia

FIRST RACE OF THE MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN JEREZ

BRADLEY BRINGS HOME THE FIRST POINTS FOR THE 2020 APRILIA RS-GP

DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ALEIX WITH A CRASH INTERRUPTING HIS COMEBACK

In the first official race, held in extremely difficult conditions, the new Aprilia RS-GP put its first championship points on the board thanks to Bradley Smith, lacking in grip but skilfully maintaining concentration. His fifteenth-place finish does not do justice to all the hard work done in the Italian garage, but the many crashes, some even with serious consequences, confirm just how much the scalding Spanish asphalt in Jerez was at the limit. The English rider’s excellent start is worth a mention, gaining no less than 5 positions in just one lap.

Espargaró had started the race with his usual quality, aggressive straight away in the early stages of the race and comforted by a good feeling, especially in braking. It was precisely an extreme late braking manoeuvre, made even riskier by his full fuel tank during the third lap, that led to a sudden loss of grip, resulting in a crash. The disappointment of Aleix and his entire garage is understandable, attenuated by the fact that he will be back on the track in Jerez already in a few days for the second race of the season.
ALEIX ESPARGARO’
“I am deeply sorry for Aprilia, the fans and for myself. I felt good from the start. I was faster than the riders ahead of me and, in fact, I was overtaking when I lost the front end. Unfortunately, with a full tank, it’s difficult to push, but my desire to take the RS-GP to a good result was very strong. Fortunately, we’ll be back on the track in just a few days. To be honest, I wish we were racing again tomorrow, because I think that an important result is within our reach. Next weekend, we’ll need to get off on the right foot straight away from Friday. Clearly, we’ll have clearer ideas so we can aim for better qualifying first and then for a solid race.”
BRADLEY SMITH
“The goal today was to do all 25 laps of the race in order to gather fundamental data on the reactions of this new bike. I started very well, but staying in the slipstream of a lot of other riders straight away created quite a few problems for me. The tyre temperature and pressure was off the charts and I didn’t have much grip at all. This will have to be our main focus for our work next weekend. We don’t have any experience with this bike, but every time we go out, we learn something new and I have full confidence in the guys at Aprilia.”

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LCR

NAKAGAMI FINISHES AS TOP HONDA IN 2020 OPENER
19 July 2020 | Spanish GP Race

After eight months without racing action, the MotoGP World Championship finally got under way behind closed doors at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain on Sunday. For LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami it was a first race in nine months, since he went under the knife following his home Grand Prix in Japan.

The 28 year-old has since recovered well from that shoulder operation, and on his comeback in Spain steered his machine to finish in tenth place in difficult conditions. The top-ten finish meant Nakagami ended up as top Honda rider in the race and sets a great platform for the team to build on into the season having dealt admirably with the sweltering heat and slippery track conditions.

The LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team will hope for even more when they return to action at the same venue in just 5 days’ time, with back to back races for the first time in MotoGP history on the greatly revised 2020 calendar due to the Covid-19 lockdowns around the world.
Takaaki Nakagami – 10th
(1’39.541)
“We finished the first race, and that’s good but honestly, I am not particularly happy specially for the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team because this weekend they did such a great job to help me ride in a positive way. Unfortunately, I had issues with the front from the beginning of the race.

As there were lots of crashes around me during the race, I tried to stay focused so as not to lose the front and, in the end, I finished tenth. The positive thing is that we race again next weekend at the same circuit and hopefully then we will be able to fight again and show our true potential.”

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Suzuki

NO POINTS IN SPAIN FOR TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR

Team Suzuki Press Office – July 19.

Joan Mir: DNF (24 laps)
Alex Rins: DNS (Ruled unfit)

The opening round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship at the Circuit of Jerez – Angel Nieto didn’t go to plan for Team Suzuki Ecstar as bad luck struck both riders, resulting in no points scored on Sunday.

Alex Rins was ruled out of the race early as circuit medics declared him unfit following the crash and shoulder injury he suffered on Saturday afternoon. He will undergo treatment with the hope of being able to ride next weekend.

Race day also ended badly for Joan Mir from his 10th place grid spot. He had been hoping to use the pace found during Saturday morning to carve through the pack and secure a strong finish. However, a poor start saw him get squeezed out and pushed back to 13th.

On the second lap of the race, after getting into 11th place, Mir lost the front of his GSX-RR at Turn 9 and he was unable to prevent a crash which ended his race.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Finally, the start of the season hasn’t gone well for us. It’s a real pity what’s happened this weekend – we lost Alex due to his injury and then also Joan couldn’t finish because of the crash. We had a lot of potential and we weren’t able to show it. Fortunately, we have another race here next weekend. Joan will be able to perform better and we also hope that Alex can come back.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It’s been a really difficult weekend for us, with Alex not starting and then Joan not finishing. We had a lot of hope for Joan, because he had good pace and we know he could’ve done a nice race. But starting from the fourth row made it harder, and he needed to do a lot of overtakes, one of these moves didn’t pay off and it ended like that. We’ve learned some things this weekend, and we hope to come back with both riders next weekend.”

Joan Mir:

“The truth is that our weekend wasn’t bad, the problem was just in the race. I tried to make up as many positions as possible at the start of the race but I had a poor start and I lost the front of my bike and crashed. It was my mistake and I want to apologise to the team. The good news is that we have another race here next weekend, and we will show our potential.”

Gran Premio Red Bull De España – Race Classification:

1. Fabio QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 41’23.796
2. Maverick VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 41’28.399 – +4.603
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 41’29.742 – +5.946
4. Jack MILLER – Pramac Racing – 41’30.464 – +6.668
5. Franco MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 41’30.640 – +6.844
6. Pol ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 41’30.734 – +6.938
7. Francesco BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 41’36.823 – +13.027
8. Miguel OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 41’37.237 – +13.441
9. Danilo PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – 41’43.447 – +19.651
10. Takaaki NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 41’45.349 – +21.553
11. Johann ZARCO – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 41’48.896 – +25.100
12. Alex MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 41’51.146 – +27.350
13. Brad BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 41’53.436 – +29.640
14. Tito RABAT – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 41’56.694 – +32.898
15. Bradley SMITH – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 42’03.478 – +39.682

Not Classified:

Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 34’49.784 – 4 laps
Iker LECUONA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 31’42.493 – 6 laps
Valentino ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 30’00.801 – 7 laps
Aleix ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 3’28.040 – 23 laps
Joan MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’47.771 – 24 laps

MotoGP World Standing 2020:

1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha FRA 25
2 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 20
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 16
4 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 13
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha ITA 11
6 Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 10
7 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati ITA 9
8 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 8
9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 7
10 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 6
11 Johann ZARCO Ducati FRA 5
12 Alex MARQUEZ Honda SPA 4
13 Brad BINDER KTM RSA 3
14 Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 2
15 Bradley SMITH Aprilia GBR 1
16 Marc MARQUEZ SPA
17 Iker LECUONA SPA
18 Valentino ROSSI ITA
19 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA
20 Joan MIR SPA
21 Alex RINS SPA
22 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR

 


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